- provide free transport to and from venues, either by way of a mini bus or individuals travelling in cars;
- provide recycled push bikes to make local venues accessible;
- provide sportswear to ensure that activities are available to all, which may include boots, trainers, jogging bottoms and tops, and more.
- use proceeds generated from its retail units to fund coaching, access to facilities such as sports clubs and gyms, and fund the transport required to get talented but disadvantaged athletes to training.
- provide tents and equipment for unprivileged children to have a holiday.
- provide specialised wheelchairs to enable disabled people to participate in wheelchair sports.
- help regenerate local shopping areas by utilising otherwise empty retail units.
The concept of a discount sports store, set-out and run like a mainstream store, proved popular and Sports Traider Charity now operates stores in Loughborough, Dunstable,Stoke on Trent and Evesham.
As well as benefiting the sporting community Sports Traider Charity supports the whole community by offering work experience to the disabled, young people, the long-term unemployed, disadvantaged groups, and ex-offenders in the stores. So far over 3,000 days of work experience have been provided.
Sports Traider Charity shops are staffed by volunteers, many of whom are young adults with learning difficulties. Their engagement with volunteering gives people a reason to get out of bed, work in a team, building confidence and self-esteem. Their services, and the experience of shop work they gain, are recognised through a reference which may lead to paid employment, in some cases within the charity.
The skills they learn include organising the shop, dealing with new stock and donations, answering the phone, dealing with the general public, team working, and handling money. Other outcomes gained include increased confidence and self-esteem, improved health and wellbeing, reduced isolation and loneliness.
Sports Traider Charity has been very successful in including ex-offenders, engaging them in both the retail and community projects, where, together with contributing their volunteering hours, they can discuss and talk about prison life, social disadvantage, alcohol and drug misuse and abuse. The peer support that they get is proving, in many cases, to be very beneficial to their rehabilitation process.
The idea for the charity came from founder Lance Haggith, who after many years of playing, coaching and generally being involved in basketball, saw the potential benefits to disadvantaged children those with disabilities, and young offenders. After facilitating some research, he discovered that the access to sport for many young persons was out of reach due to their disability, disadvantage and/or social background, etc. The research concluded that there was a tangible benefit in enabling people to access sports, with a dual purpose, firstly to allow them to become active and secondly to help improve their self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills, which cannot always be achieved in a classroom environment and which will help them gain vocational skills transferable to a workplace environment.
Sports Traider Charity has retail outlets located in areas in, or close by to, neighbourhoods that, according to the Government Office for National Statistics, are high on the list of those suffering from high levels of deprivation as compared to others in England. This is a deliberate strategy in accordance with charitable objects ‘…to provide or assist in the provision of facilities in the interests of social welfare’, to target service delivery at those most in need of support.’
OUR SUPPORTING PARTNERS
We are most grateful for the ongoing support and commitment shown by our supporting partners who are helping make a difference to the lives of the children to help achieve goals that would not normally be accessible to them without the help of the Sports Traider Charity.
Registered Charity No: 1156175